Apple hires one of its HealthKit ambassadors: Rajiv Kumar, MD

By Jessica Davis
04:39 PM
The pediatric endocrinologist at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is known for his HealthKit pilot study on Type 1 diabetes patients.

Apple has reportedly made another high-profile hire from the healthcare industry with the appointment of Rajiv Kumar, MD, who was most recently employed at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University as a pediatric endocrinologist.

His former employer, Lucile Packard CEO Christopher Dawes, confirmed the appointment to Fast Company, which first reported the hire. Dawes said that Kumar will continue on at the hospital in a part-time capacity.

"We can’t compete with companies like Apple, Google and Facebook when they really want one of our own," Dawes told Fast Company.

Apple declined to comment and Kumar's exact position hasn't been confirmed.

Kumar first gained attention in 2015 with the creation of the HealthKit-enabled pediatric diabetes monitoring system. He developed a pilot study with 10 Type 1 diabetes patients, offering a streamlined approach to patient-doctor communications, according to Diabetes News Journal.

The platform sends continuous blood sugar monitoring glucose readings to an Apple Device, which is then securely transmitted through HealthKit to the patient's medical record, via Stanford Children's Epic MyChart app.

"Our endocrinologists are now able to easily assess large volumes of blood-sugar data between clinic visits – and quickly identify trends that could benefit from insulin dosing regimen changes," Kumar said in a statement. "This allows us to spend more time with our patients and their parents."

Kumar is just one of a few healthcare leaders lured to Apple in recent years. Recent hires include Jay Mung, a biomedical engineer and former leader of Medtronic's algorithm development; Anne Shelchuk, who most recently worked at Zonare, an ultrasound company; former biotech entrepreneur, Divya Nag; and anesthesiologist Mike O'Reilly, who runs the ResearchKit platform.

Twitter: @JessieFDavis
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